How scary was Alaska’s early spring? Very — The High Country News

January to May global temperatures 2016 via NOAA.
January to May global temperatures 2016 via NOAA.

From The High Country News (Teresa Sundmark):

But now it seems there is evidence that our wish for a warmer climate has been granted. Two nearly snowless winters back-to-back have prompted many cross-country skiers to exchange their skinny skis for fat-tire bikes, and the local ATV dealerships have started displaying four-wheelers instead of snow machines. In fact, 2014 and 2015 were two of the warmest years on record for Alaska.

As if the fantastic summer of 2015 and mild winter that followed weren’t enough, spring in 2016 came a full six weeks earlier than it normally does. During the Memorial Day weekend, wildflowers bloomed everywhere. The snowline on the Kenai Mountains across the bay had already risen precipitously, and the kale in my garden has never grown higher. It seemed more like the Fourth of July than the end of May. I’ve spent 24 years in Alaska, and so this extra six weeks of summer feels something like winning the lottery or receiving a year-end bonus big enough to pay off the mortgage. I’m enjoying every minute of this newly extended summer.

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